What Happens If Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident?
You may understand how your insurance works if you cause a car accident, but what if someone else is driving your vehicle? Your auto insurance company may or may not pay for medical bills and property damage related to a car accident caused by someone else driving your car. It is important to find out how an insurer will handle this type of case.
Who Pays for the Accident?
You may be under the impression that your auto insurance covers you as a person; however, auto insurance covers a vehicle, not a driver. Generally speaking, your automobile insurance will cover accidents that take place inside your vehicle, even if you were not the person driving. Your auto insurance company will treat the accident the same way it would if you were the one driving, according to Kentucky’s no-fault law.
Kentucky is one of only a handful of no-fault states. In Kentucky, all drivers injured in a car accident will seek financial compensation from their own auto insurance providers, regardless of fault. In states that use a fault system, on the other hand, the party at fault will be responsible for financial losses. As a driver in Kentucky, you lawfully must purchase no-fault insurance coverage, otherwise known as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
After a car accident involving your vehicle, even if someone else was driving your car, your PIP insurance will provide monetary benefits for medical bills, up to 85% of lost wages and some other costs. Your own insurance will pay up to your policy’s maximum (at least $10,000 according to Kentucky law). Your auto insurance company should cover costs for the person who borrowed your car and any passengers with a first-party claim.
Insurance Limitations for a Borrowed Car
There are exceptions to the rule. The language of your auto insurance policy most likely stipulates that it will not cover the costs of damages caused by someone who did not have permission to drive your car. If someone you know borrows your vehicle without your permission, your insurance company may not offer to pay for that person’s medical bills. The same is true if someone steals your car and crashes it. Another exception is if someone was using your car for business purposes.
Your auto insurance is also limited in terms of paying to repair your wrecked vehicle. PIP insurance will not pay for vehicle repairs. Instead, you must have an additional type of insurance, such as collision or comprehensive insurance, for your insurer to pay to repair your car. If you do not have this type of insurance, the only way to seek coverage for vehicle repairs is by filing a third-party lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle.
A lawsuit is only a possibility if the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident and the accident caused serious injuries. Only then will you have the right to bring a lawsuit against the other driver outside of Kentucky’s no-fault system, in pursuit of compensation for losses such as medical bills, 100% of lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage repairs.
What Should You Do If Someone Else Crashes Your Car?
If someone else crashes your car, help that person gather evidence, such as reminding him or her to take photographs at the scene. Tell the victim to go to a hospital right away. The driver should call the police from the scene of the accident, as well. Call your auto insurance provider to report the crash. Your insurance should cover the driver and passengers’ medical bills, regardless of which driver is at fault.
If you do not have collision insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket for damages to your vehicle. You will also be responsible for paying insurance deductibles. For more information about recovering financially after someone else gets into an accident in your car, consult with a car accident attorney in Louisville. An attorney can assist you by communicating with an insurance company on your behalf.